Women\’s Ways of Journalism?

Currently, I’m involved in an interesting discussion on the members-only list of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ). I started this thread after reading a though-provoking Los Angeles Times column by linguist Deborah Tannen.

I’ve long thought that traditional journalism primarily reflects a predominantly male approach to interaction and communication. So I’m wondering, what might journalism look like if it was more evenly tempered with female communication style?…

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Women in Online Media: My Letter to Newsweek

The March 21 issue of Newsweek includes an intriguing column by Senior Editor Steven Levy: “Blogging Beyond the Men’s Club – Since anyone can write a weblog, why is the blogosphere dominated by white males?” This has sparked quite a debate online, in weblogs, podcasts, and discussion forums.

I shared my thoughts on this topic in the following letter to Levy…

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Credibility: Whose News to Choose? (Audio)

We have met the gatekeepers, and they are us!

LISTEN NOW! Right-click that link to download the MP3 audio file. It’s about 1.5 MB and 7 minutes long.

Online media gives average people direct access to the kind of primary information that formerly only trained journalists would get. Plus, net users get exposed to a diversity of issues and perspectives that’s far broader than what mass media could ever present.

Still, most of us were raised on mass media. We’re used to equating credibility with traditional journalistic news organizations. We used to know what “real news” was, and where you found it. We used to know whose news to believe. That was a very dangerous illusion.

Now it’s time to dust off those critical thinking skills. This audio post offers some advice on how to get started…

(Show notes…)

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John Edwards Debuts Podcast

NOTE: I originally posted this item on March 16. Later that same day, Chris Winn of the One America Committee did create a valid feed for this podcast. (Subscribe.) Consequently I’ve re-edited and re-posted this article. Hence the strikethru text in some places below.

According to the Democratic site and weblog One America Committee, next week former US Senator and VP candidate John Edwards will launch his very own podcast.

Well, sort of. It’s painfully obvious from the site that Edwards and his online staff need to learn a bit more about podcasting.

Here’s a quick lesson for you, Sen. Edwards…

I’m happy about this development. I think podcasting could definitely benefit political discourse at all levels, complementing traditional media and political journalism/commentary. And I’m glad they realized that, in order to podcast, you need a feed

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Fake News, Courtesy of the US Government (Again)

I just blogged this in Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits, but it’s worth a mention here too.

Longtime CONTENTIOUS readers may recall that last year I had a few things to say regarding a fake TV news story (otherwise known as a video news release, or VNR) produced by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services to covertly promote the Bush Administration’s controversial Medicare plan.

Well, it looks like the Bush Administration’s infatuation with VNRs is still going stronger than ever…

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AOL Backpedals: So What?

(NOTE: The Mar. 28 update to this article covers how AOL revised the AIM TOS.)

According to this followup article by Ryan Naraine published today in eWeek, AOL has begun backpedaling in earnest regarding its offensive and invasive Instant Messenger (AIM) terms of service. (I covered this yesterday.)

According to eWeek, AOL “plans to make three small but significant modifications to the terms of service for its AIM instant messaging product to head off a firestorm of privacy-related criticisms.”

My opinion? Too late. AOL has already tipped its hand about its unvarnished attitude toward AIM users…

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Why You Should Stop Using AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) RIGHT NOW!

(UPDATES: Don’t miss the Mar. 15 and Mar. 28 updates to this article.)

Here’s yet another installment in the ongoing saga of AOL’s delusions of grandeur. I just posted this to my del.icio.us page of recommended reading, but this one is so ludricrous it warrants a special mention here.

Apparently, at some point AOL quietly unveiled new terms of service for its popular AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) chat service. Basically, AOL is claiming unlimited rights to all content and ideas transmitted via AIM. That’s right – if, say, you use AIM to discuss a new idea for a business, book, deal, etc., AOL is claiming the right to use, publish, or sell your ideas or plans without notifying or compensating you. At least, the way the AIM TOS is currently written leaves the door open for such abuses.

I wish this was a joke. It’s not. Whether or not such unabashed greed and thievery is legally enforceable (and I have serious doubts about that), it’s certainly insulting enough to warrant abandoning AIM immediately and permanently. I don’t use AIM much, but I have just uninstalled AIM from my computer. I recommend that you do so too, and tell all the AIM users you know about this.

No, I don’t think this is an overreaction. Here’s why…

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